Missouri Fishing License

Missouri Fishing License: ID Requirements and Application Process

Missouri Fishing License: ID Requirements and Application Process is an essential guide for anglers planning to fish in the beautiful state of Missouri. With over 400 lakes, numerous rivers, and streams, Missouri offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities for both residents and non-residents. However, before casting a line, it’s crucial to obtain a valid fishing license and be aware of the state’s fishing regulations. This comprehensive article will provide you with all the necessary information on obtaining a Missouri fishing license, including ID requirements, the application process, fees, and exemptions.

Missouri Fishing License Requirements

In Missouri, anyone between the ages of 16 and 64 needs a fishing permit, except for certain exemptions. The fishing permit is required for fish, frogs, mussels, clams, turtles, crayfish, and live bait. In addition to the general fishing permit, you may also need a specific permit for certain species, such as a trout permit.


Some individuals are exempt from needing a fishing permit in Missouri, including:

  • Missouri resident landowners with at least 5 acres of land and their immediate households fishing on their own land
  • Missouri residents aged 65 and older
  • Anyone aged 15 and under, regardless of their residency status
  • Honorably discharged veterans or active personnel with a service-related disability of 60% or greater, or assigned as a patient to a Warrior Transition Brigade, Warrior Transition Unit, or military medical center
  • Certain individuals with serious medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy

Missouri Fishing License
Missouri Fishing License

Obtaining a Missouri Fishing License

Obtaining a Missouri fishing license is a straightforward process designed to be as convenient as possible for both residents and non-residents. There are multiple methods available to purchase a license, ensuring that everyone has an option that suits their needs.

Online Purchase

In the digital age, the easiest and most convenient way to get your Missouri fishing license is online. The Missouri Department of Conservation website is a one-stop-shop for all your fishing license needs. It provides a secure platform where you can purchase your license at any time, from anywhere.

Alternatively, you can use the MO Hunting app on your smartphone. This app not only allows you to purchase your license but also provides useful information like hunting and fishing seasons, regulations, and more. It’s like having a mini-Department of Conservation right in your pocket!

In-Person Purchase

For those who prefer a more traditional approach, you can purchase your fishing license in person. Visit a local Department of Conservation office where staff can guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have.

You can also find licenses at stores that sell hunting and fishing equipment. In addition to your license, these stores frequently employ other outdoor enthusiasts who can offer helpful advice and tips.

Purchase by Phone

If you’re unable to purchase your license online or in person, don’t worry! You can also purchase your license by phone. Simply call 800-392-4115 for assistance. This method is particularly useful for those who may not have easy access to the internet or a Department of Conservation office.

Obtaining a Missouri fishing license is a simple and straightforward process, with multiple methods available to suit everyone’s needs. Whether you prefer the convenience of online shopping, the personal touch of in-person service, or the ease of a phone call, Missouri has you covered. Remember, having a valid fishing license is not only a legal requirement but also contributes to the conservation of Missouri’s aquatic resources. So, get your license, grab your gear, and enjoy the fantastic fishing opportunities that Missouri has to offer!

License Types and Fees

Missouri offers different types of fishing licenses for residents and non-residents, with varying fees:

  • Resident Annual Fishing License: $12.00
  • Non-resident Annual Fishing License: $49.00
  • Resident Daily Fishing License: $8.00
  • Non-resident Daily Fishing License: $8.00

Missouri also offers lifetime fishing permits for residents, with fees based on the applicant’s age.

  • Youth (0-15): $275.00
  • Age 16-29: $400.00
  • Age 30-39: $350.00
  • Age 40-59: $300.00
  • Age 60-64: $35.00

Fishing Regulations in Missouri

Missouri, with its diverse aquatic resources, is a paradise for anglers. However, to protect these resources and ensure sustainable fishing practices, the state has implemented specific fishing regulations. These regulations encompass allowed fishing methods, limits on the number of poles and hooks, and prohibited fishing methods.

Allowed Fishing Methods

In Missouri, you can catch fish by various methods, such as pole and line, trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, and jug line. Ice fishing tackle, or tip-ups, are also considered a pole-and-line method. These methods are accepted for catching all species of fish, although additional restrictions may apply to specific fishing areas.

Game fish not hooked in the mouth or jaw must be returned to the water unharmed immediately, except paddlefish legally taken during the paddlefish snagging season. Game fish include species like goggle-eye, warmouth, northern pike, muskellunge, tiger muskie, muskie pike hybrid, chain pickerel, grass pickerel, all species of catfish except bullheads, all species of black bass, paddlefish, all species of crappie, white bass, yellow bass, striped bass, trout, walleye, sauger, and shovelnose sturgeon.

Number of Poles and Hooks

If you use more than three poles (or two poles on the Mississippi River) at any one time, the additional poles must be labeled with your full name and address, or conservation number. Regardless of the method or number of poles, you may not use more than a total of 33 hooks at any one time; except on the Mississippi River, the maximum is 50 hooks at one time.

Prohibited Fishing Methods

No one may use any explosive, poisonous, chemical, or electrical equipment to kill or stupefy fish. Such material or equipment may not be possessed on the waters of the state or adjacent banks. Spearguns may not be possessed on unimpounded waters or adjacent banks, and spears may not be propelled by explosives. It is also illegal to attempt to take fish by hand, with or without a hook, and to intentionally leave or abandon any commonly edible portion of any fish.

Commercial Fishing Regulations

Commercial fishing has its own set of regulations. Commercial fish and live bait may be taken and possessed in any number by the holder of a commercial fishing permit from commercial waters with seines, gill nets, trammel nets, hoop nets with or without wings, trotlines, throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, or jug or block lines, and any number of hooks.

However, endangered species as listed in 3 CSR 10-4.111(3), including lake sturgeon and pallid sturgeon, may not be taken or possessed and must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.

Understanding and adhering to these regulations is crucial for every angler in Missouri. Not only do these rules protect the state’s aquatic resources, but they also ensure a fair and enjoyable fishing experience for all. So, before you cast your line, make sure you’re familiar with the rules of the water.


Fishing in Missouri offers a diverse and enjoyable experience for anglers of all skill levels. However, it’s crucial to obtain a valid fishing license and be aware of the state’s fishing regulations to ensure a legal and responsible fishing experience. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can enjoy the beautiful waters of Missouri while contributing to the conservation and sustainability of its aquatic resources.

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